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New Zealand Institute of Architects








2017 President's Awards

Donna Howell, outgoing president of NAWIC, is congratulated by NZIA President Christina van Bohemen.

Photo by David St George

In 2017, the following people and groups received Institute President’s Awards:

Colin Gooch, Technical Director, Resene 


Colin Gooch is integral to the success and achievements of Resene, the company he has served so admirably for nearly fifty years. He is completely committed to his position as Technical Director, tireless in his enthusiasm for his work, and relentless in his pursuit of the innovative solutions that characterise Resene’s history of research-led development. Colin has contributed enormously to Resene’s ground-breaking and environmentally-conscious approach to product development and manufacture. The Architect’s Memos that he provides through the Resene website are informative and helpful, and are totally consistent with Resene’s long record of support for the architecture profession. 

Sophie Hamer, Founder, Portico 


Sophie Hamer is making a significant contribution to the cause of architecture with Portico, a website that explains and demystifies the process of entering the profession. Sophie started the site to help young people navigate a way to a career that she herself has chosen, and her enthusiasm for her vocation and commitment to communicate that  enthusiasm is evident in her insightful commentary and reader-friendly writing style.

The Institute of Architects is most appreciative of Sophie’s initiative in setting up Portico, especially as, courtesy of her generosity, material from the valuable resource is also available on the NZIA’s own website.    

Miriam van Wezel, artist 


Miriam van Wezel lent valuable support to New Zealand’s pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014 and 2016. She donated her time and talent in designing a medallion as a fundraising initiative for the 2014 pavilion and then was commissioned to make a medallion to promote New Zealand’s 2016 pavilion. The medallions were gracious adjuncts to New Zealand’s participation in the Biennale, and highly sought-after objects. Miriam’s generous contribution is entirely consistent with her engagement with architecture as an artist and teacher, and with her enthusiastic and always welcome participation in the activities of Auckland’s architecture community. 

Donna Howell, National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) 


Over the past 20 years the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) has grown ever more effective in supporting women in the construction industry. The non-profit organisation offers a valuable forum for women working in every capacity in the industry, and is especially concerned to assist young women starting their careers in the construction professions and trades. Donna Howell, NAWIC’s immediate past president, accepted this award on behalf of her organisation.  

Denis Adam, insurer and civic benefactor     

Denis Adam has given invaluable support to the Institute of Architects in the establishment of professional indemnity insurance to the profession. He conceived the co-operative model for the provision of such insurance, and under his stewardship, and with the support of the NZIA, the New Zealand Architects Co-operative Society (NZACS) was formed. The society now includes more than 700 firms. Denis has always been generous with his advice in this crucial area of professional life. Many architects have cause to thank him for his judicious guidance, and the profession as a whole has benefited greatly from his advocacy. Along with many other citizens, especially in Denis’s hometown of Wellington, architects have also benefited from his contributions to civic life and artistic endeavour, exemplified by the support given by his family foundation to the establishment of The Adam Art Gallery and Adam Auditorium.